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lostkendra

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Hello,

I'm Kendra. I'm new to this forum, and thought I'd introduce myself and tell you a little about me. I'm currently an Elementary Special Education Teacher in Topeka, Kansas. I have been diagnosis with POTS now for about 2 1/2 years, but have been dealing with it for about 13 years. Okay, now I'm starting to feel old. I am normally a fun and energetic person. I love teaching and finding new ways in which to reach the kids. I am also an Air Force brat and have traveled a little. And like all good brats, I served my term in the Air Force. (I think that hits the basics)

Lately, I've been having some problems with my POTS. Last week, I stopped teaching in the school because I had missed almost a month of school. I was unable to make it through the entire day. Thus, I am now sitting in the Special Education Office working on some side projects. I didn't lose my job, but they are now in the process of replacing me in my teaching position. I am very hopeful to regain and build my endurance back up so that I can handle being back in a school atmosphere all day.

This is not the first time, I've had problems. About 2 1/2 yrs ago, my first year teaching, I was having slight problems. One bad episode at school, some over-reacting people in administration, and a medical review board got me out of my first school and into this last school where I have been for 2 1/2 yrs. I was also given a medical discharge from the Air Force when their psychs decided I was 'unsuitable for military service'.

I'm not bitter. It's part of who I am, and why what I'm going through is so tough on me. I know in my heart that my health will not allow me to give the students the support they need. I'm glad I still have a position in the school district that I can do without having to worry about income or any of that not so good stuff.

Last week was very hard. I went through a lot of ups and downs. I have a good support system, but it's hard for my pride to accept that I need help. I have been living with my boyfriend, Dan, and trying to get by without my family. I did finally suck up my pride, and tell my family that yet again, I was having trouble with my POTS.

Right after I was diagnosis with POTS, my doctor decided that he needed a break from practicing medicine. He was going to take a sabatical, then research. Thus I ended up in a town with a PI that knows nothing of POTS and a cardiologist that knows enough to say 'yes, that's POTS.' I have been doing good at staying on top of symptoms and when something changes, I'll call a doctor/nurse and say, 'This is what's happening, should I be concerned?' They in turn adjust meds or have me come in. Last month, my symptoms just got too much. They finally said 'This is out of our expertise.' Thus, another referal to KU Med and I now have a new POTS doc. We've added more meds, adjusted some others, and things are starting to get better.

I have been doing lots of research and found this forum. (By the way, I love www.potsplace.com) I was reading some of the posts and I just love the fact that I am not the only one going through this. I see lots of people with the exact questions as I have. I also see lots of people who have gone through what I am going through and have their own personal experiences to reference. I just love what I see in this forum. I only wish that I had found it sooner.

I know that I am rambling. I'm up way past my bedtime, but it just keeps flowing. Even though I couldn't post last week, just reading the posts really helped. I know I am not done dealing with this round, and I know that there will be other rounds. But knowing that it's not all in my head, really helps. Knowing that I'm not the only one dealing with doctors that say "I'm sorry you don't feel well, but I can't find anything wrong with you." Knowing all this really helps. See there I go again, crying. (I'm doing that a lot. Like when my friend offered to take me to my docs appt last week, we were going to put up Christmas decorations, but instead she helped me pack up my classroom. I bawled.) I don't think I use to be this emotional. I wonder if it comes with getting older.

Well, I'm sure that's enough for now. I just wanted to say hi and thanks! You guys helped me out so much. B)

Kendra

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Welcome, Kendra! We're happy you've joined our happy little POTSy family!

I'm sorry that you've had to make changes to your career. Maybe if you find the right doctor who can help you find the right medication combo, you'll be back sooner than you'd expect. Paxil is my "wonder drug." Without it, I'm basically nonfunctional. With it, I'm working 40+ hours per week, working out five days per week (three-mile walks), etc. I'm not suggesting that you try any certain medication. I'm just using that as an example to show what the right drug combo can mean.

Anyway, welcome aboard! We look forward to getting to know you!

Amy, a couple states north of you in South Dakota

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Hi and welcome Kendra! This is a great place to meet people with many things in common, just not the things you'd pick for yourself! B)

I find I almost never have to ask a question about a symptom, because someone else will always ask about it at some point. I hope you find the help and support you need here. ( I know you will) This place was and still is a lifeline for me. I'm also glad it sounds like you have a pretty good support system, that makes a huge difference...just ask anyone that doesn't.

Jump right in, the water's nice and warm here and the hearts kind. morgan

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Welcome Kendra!

I'm sorry to hear you are struggling. Having to change jobs is tough and I'm afraid I'm going to be in the same boat if I don't get these POTS symptoms under control. I'm just not able to make it through a full day's work. This is frightening to me because I am single, very independent and am not sure what will happen to me or how I will make it if things do go south with my job.

I can not imagime hoe difficult it must have been to have to pack up your classroom. I teared up jusst reading the post. Of course I'm pretty good at crying these days as well! Nonetheless, this is not about me! I'm glad you found the forum and will be discussing the posts with us. A new point of view is always welcomed.

I pray you will find an appropriate doctor who can get the right medication combo for you. This has made all the difference for me although I'm mot at my best right now. Just having a doc who knows a bit about POTS, even just enough to believe you and your symptoms is worth millions! I pray you can come across one soon.

Best of luck and welcome.

Dari

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I appreciate your comments. It's great just knowing that there are people who understand. Last night after I wrote my introduction 'book' post, I feel tons better. It seems that I must be feeling better emotionally. Today, I've taken the time to type up a med list with doc info just in case something happens at work and they need to call someone.

My therapist wants me to start calling doctor's offices in town. I haven't been happy with my family practice doctor now for years, but I've been reluctant to find a new doc. Now with stuff going on, my therapist has recommended that I start calling internal med doctors to see if anyone in town has even heard of POTS. It would be nice to have someone that has the slightest clue.

I explained all that, because I had been putting that off for the past week or so. Now, I'm about ready to open the phone book. B)

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Open that phone book!

Good Luck. Sometimes you find knowledgable docs where you least expect them.

Dari

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Welcome Kendra,

There are a lot of griefs along the path of POTS and it's good to be able to share them and cry some. It helps move on - which I think you're seeing.

I can really feel for you when you talked about "packing up your classroom" - it almost made me cry - just bringing back the reality of the losses.

Glad you've found a place to help you not feel alone and keep learning.

You'll see me pop in every once in a while... I don't write as much as I used to, but I still check in and try to keep up on what's new. I just wanted to say "Hi" too!

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Kendra,

Hello! Welcome to the forum! We're glad you've found us and hope we can be an encouragement to you. It sounds like you're going through a lot right now. I hope you find a dr. soon that will be of great help to you.

Take care,

Lisa

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Welcome to the forum, Kendra.

POTS causes a lot of very real losses in the lives of its diagnosees, and it is not only very normal to cry, but it is very healthy, too. It's better not to let these emotions build up inside you. I just can't imagine packing up at work. That must have been so devastating.

I haven't worked at all since this past July because of POTS, and I've been working to get help from my workplace so that I can work (reasonable accommodations) for the past 17 months. They keep saying no, but until they fire me, I'll keep asking and appealing. I dread the day when they say the final "no" and let me go. That would be the day I have to literally "pack up" as well. So I hold on to hope until there's nothing left to hold on to! All this just to say, I empathize with you.

I'm sorry that you are dealing with POTS, but I hope you can find some encouragement in our little corner of the world.

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Welcome, Kendra. I'm glad you found us. I hope you find this to be a helpful, friendly, and encouraging place. I'm sorry you're going through so much right now. It is tough to have to step down from things we love to do because of health limitations. I hope you find a good doctor and treatment plan.

All the best,

Rachel

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Last night I actually had an awesome night. I went to a Christmas Party for a company that I work at part time and that my sister and boyfriend work out. I was pretty busy in the morning being drove to a few hour long appointments and spent the entire afternoon laying down with feet up so that I'd be able to feel 'semi' normal. When I left, I went guns ablazing, compression stocking, meds in purse, the whole 9 yards.

I felt great. After almost 2 months of not making it through days. I did great. I will admit that I had several glasses of white zin (but I'm rationilizing this as it had little alcohol). I didn't see any adverse effect with my meds. I was very social and fluttered around the room catching up with people. I even had the energy to dance!!! YEAH! Now don't think for one moment, that I didn't pay. After dancing, it was to the chairs with me. I'd pull another chair close and put my feet up. I even did that during the speeches. I did throw in quite a few glasses of water also.

What a night! The only think I feel today is a racing heart rate and a slight pressure in my head. I just knew I'd survive this round of POTS. I know it's not over, but I now have a glimmer of hope. It takes a lot of energy to be remain positive when things are bad and have the potential for getting worse.

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Hi, Kendra:

I'm so glad to hear that you had a good night. I can completely understand what you mean about the little accommodations you made through the night, but the most important thing is you made it! I hope this round of POTS starts to taper away soon for you.

Yay for getting some enjoyment out of life! :)

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